Ken McGraw To Take Month-Long Paternity Leave


Ken McGraw, soon to be the latest father at Community, finishes up some work at his desk

Ken McGraw, soon to be the latest father at Community, finishes up some work at his desk


Soon, the halls of Community will be bereft of bow-ties. Ken McGraw is going on paternity leave

“The baby could come at almost any time,” said Ken seriously. His wife, Marieta McGraw, is due to give birth on Jan. 27, the day after finals are over, but Ken predicts that his child will be born a week early.

The McGraws plan to name their daughter Ivette, after Marieta’s mother Ivanka, who will be flying in from Bulgaria in March to help with the baby. Until then, Ken will be taking a month-long paternity leave to be with his newly expanded family, returning in early March

Ann Arbor Public Schools does not actually offer paid paternity leave as part of their benefits for teachers, but like many other teachers, Ken is opting to cash in dozens of his unused sick days that he’s accumulated over the course of his career. “I can’t think of a better use for them,” Ken said

As Ken will be gone for a large chunk of second semester, his classes will be covered by Rachel Applebaum, better known to many Community students as Judith DeWoskin’s former student teacher. Applebaum graduated back in December, but this will be her first teaching job

Despite the high stakes, Applebaum says she isn’t nervous. She taught a unit in DeWoskin’s class as part of her student teaching, and Applebaum says that that was much harder. As well as grading homework and teaching the class, Applebaum had to plan every aspect of her own unit. Ken left lesson plans for the entirety of his paternity leave, so Applebaum predicts that the next few weeks will be “much more hands-off.

Ken isn’t worried either. “I worked with [Applebaum] when she was a pre-student teacher,” he recalled. “I think she’ll do a great job.

Marieta will soon be giving birth at the new U of M Mott Children’s Hospital, but the McGraws are not yet sure whether Ivette will be born through a C-section or a natural birth.

“My prediction is that she’s probably going to have an epidural,” speculated Ken, “because I think most women are pretty uncomfortable when they give birth.”

Regardless of the exact situation, Ken is definitely planning to be there for his wife when she gives birth. “I’m sure I’ll be holding her hand,” he said.

And as for the baby? “I think I was nervous before,” said Ken, “and now I’m just really excited. I can’t wait to have the baby in my arms.”